Paul M Orwin

Paul M Orwin

Paul M Orwin
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
California State University, USA


Dr. Paul M Orwin completed his PhD in Microbiology from University of Minnesota. He is presently employed as Assistant Professor in Department of Biology at California State University.

Research Interest

Behavior of Variovorax paradoxus on surfaces
Variovorax paradoxus is a soil microorganism associated with many vital biological transformations, including remediation of toxic compounds and promotion of plant growth. It has a tremendous variety of metabolic capacities, including heterotrophic growth on a large number of carbon sources, and lithoautotrophic growth using hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide as sources of energy and carbon, respectively. Their lab has focused on a critical component of soil survival and success, the ability to attach to and move on surfaces. The surface attached sessile phase, biofilm formation, is a crucial and widespread bacterial lifestyle, associated with virulence as well as environmental growth under many conditions. Swarming motility is a mechanism of bacterial movement on a surface that involves a number of cell surface appendages as well as production of a wetting agent and a hygroscopic matrix. The combination of surface attachment and motility, and the decision to move or "put down roots" is a crucial determinant of success in the heterogeneous soil environment. Our overall goal is to understand the structural components that underlie these two phenotypes, and the regulatory circuits that control these decisions.

Natural product derived novel antimicrobials
In collaboration with Synedgen, Inc., our research group is examining the antimicrobial efficacy of various compounds chemically derived from the natural product chitosan, which is deacetylated chitin, the most common polysaccharide on Planet Earth. The proprietary derivatives manufactured by Synedgen, Inc and its corporate partners are being extensively characterized for antimicrobial activities against a broad spectrum of microbes, and our research group is focusing on efforts to determine the mechanism(s) of action of these novel compounds.